Gillingham 1 – Shrewsbury 0 (League Two Play-Off final, May 23, 2009) Gillingham will play League One football next season after Simeon Jackson’s dramatic last minute winner gave Mark Stimson’s side a one-nil victory over the Shrews at Wembley.
Inverness CT 0 – Falkirk 1 (SPL, May 23, 2009) The match was goalless approaching halftime, when Inverness defender Ross Tokely was sent off for a last-man challenge on Steve Lovell. Down to ten men, Caley Thistle held out until the 68th minute until Falkirk substitute Michael Higdon turned home Jackie McNamara’s inviting cross to make sure they remain in the SPL.
Barcelona 0 – Osasuna 1 (La Liga, May 23, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Walter Pandiani headed Osasuna into a surprise 25th minute lead at Barcelona. The result saw Osasuna climb out of the relegation zone, while a poor night for Pep Guardiola’s side was compounded nine minutes from the end when Marc Muniesa was given his marching orders. Despite the defeat, Barca celebrated winning the La Liga title after the game, celebrations can be seen here.
Almeria 0 – Espanyol 3 (La Liga, May 23, 2009) Daniel Ivan Alonso finished off a breakaway goal for Espanyol as they took lead at Almeria. Ivan Alsono bagged a second in 72nd minute, Ferran Corominas was also on target as he struck in injury-time.
Athletic Bilbao 1 – Atletico Madrid 4 (La Liga, May 23, 2009) Raul Garcia (62) fired the capital giants in front just past the hour-mark, before Xabier Etxeita levelled matters five minutes later. Diego Forlan then bagged a quick-fire brace (73 & 77) to all but wrap up the points for Abel Resino’s men. There was, still time for Forlan to complete his hat-trick as he made no mistake from the penalty spot with three minutes left on the clock. (Diego Forlan’s hat-trick can be seen here.)
Malaga 1 – Real Betis 1 (La Liga, May 23, 2009) Malaga failed to clear their lines after a period of Real Betis pressure minutes before the breaking ending off in Luis Edu cracking home the opener from the edge of the box. Albert Luque snatched an equaliser seven minutes from the end.
Villarreal 3 – Valencia 1 (La Liga, May 23, 2009) Joseba Llorente received a right wing cross in the Valencia box on 15 minutes, the striker spinning on a sixpence before finding the back of the net. Soon Llorente doubled both his Villarreal’s lead with a back post header on the half hour. David Villa pulled the visitors back into the game with a close range finish minutes before the interval. Cani sealed the win with the Yellow Submarine’s third after the break.
Getafe 1 – Numancia 0 (La Liga, May 23, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) An excellent move from Getafe that saw the ball travel from back to front ended with a fine finish from Roberto Soldado on the hour mark.
Recreativo Huelva 0 – Racing Santander 1 (La Liga, May 23, 2009) A close range strike from Nikola Zigic proved enough for Racing and condemned Recre to the drop.
Valladolid 1 – Sporting Gijon 2 (La Liga, May 23, 2009)
All the goals from Saturday’s action in La Liga can be seen here.
Nancy 1 – Marseille 2 (Ligue 1, May 23, 2009) Laurent Bonnart’s strike deflected off a defender to hand OM a 32nd minute lead. Brandao converted a rebound to double Marseille’s advantage, Landry N’Guemo claimed a late consolation for the hosts.
Lyon 3 – Caen 1 (Ligue 1, May 23, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Lyon went into the break 1-up thanks to Juninho’s penalty. With 20 minutes remaining Sidney Govou added Lyon’s second only for Sambou Yatabara to pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute for Caen. There was no fairytale comeback, Karim Benzema wrapping up the points with a late third. In emotional scenes, Juninho was taken off 10 minutes from timne in his last Lyon match, the Brazilian receiving a standing ovation from his adoring fans after years of service to OL came to an end.
Auxerre 1 – St. Etienne 0 (Ligue 1, May 23, 2009) Polish international striker Ireneusz Jelen broke the deadlock with a clinical strike in the box after the visitors’ defence made a hash of clearing their lines.
Rennes 3 – Lorient 1 (Ligue 1, May 23, 2009) A solo effort from Moussa Sow, the striker powering his way into the box in the inside right channel, handed Rennes the halftime advantage. Rod Fanni doubled the hosts lead at the start of the second half, Marama Vahirua scoring a back post volley to restore Lorient’s hopes. But Rennes soon restored their 2-goal lead thanks to Jires Kembo-Ekoko’s 88th minute third.
Nice 0 – Toulouse 2 (Ligue 1, May 23, 2009) Toulouse’s serial goalscorer Pierre-Andre Gignac did the damage with a first half brace, the first coming after a series of horror errors in the Nice defence while the second was a clinical strike inside the near post.
Valenciennes 2 – PSG 1 (Ligue 1, May 23, 2009) The Parisians were sailing at the break thanks to Mateja Kezman’s first half opener, but second half goals from Johan Audel and Gregory Pujol turned the match in VA’s favour.
Sochaux 2 – Nantes 1 (Ligue 1, May 23, 2009) Sochaux headed into the break 2-up courtesy of a Mevlut Erding diving header and a Rabiu Afolabi goal on the stretch from a dead-ball. Bagayoko scored a penalty on the hour mark for Nantes.
Le Mans 1 – Grenoble 1 (Ligue 1, May 23, 2009) Honours were even at Leon-Bollee as Le Mans drew with Grenoble with Nassim Akrour’s opener cancelled out by Anthony Le Tallec. The draw does neither side any favours as they both slip down the rankings to 13th and 16th respectively.
Le Havre 0 – Lille 1 (Ligue 1, May 23, 2009) Bottom of the table Le Havre suffered further misery as they went down to Lille, Hazard found Michel Bastos unmarked in the area in the 72nd minute and he easily beat Revault in goal.
Wolfsburg 5 – Werder Bremen 1 (Bundesliga, May 23, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) In Wolfsburg’s first attack against Werder the Foxes found the back of the net, midfielder magician Zvjezdan Misimovic cracking in the opener after six minutes. Ten minutes later Wolfsburg doubled their advantage when leading Bundesliga scorer Grafite produced a neat flick at the near post from Gentner’s low left-wing cross. The match and championship race appeared to be over after 26 minutes, Grafite raced away down the right before seeing Sebastian Prodl turn his cross into the Bremen net. But, putting a spanner in the works, Bremen pulled a goal back through Juve-bound Diego who jinked his way into the box before slipping a ball in the near post. Wolfsburg restored their 3-goal cushion early in the second half when Grafite headed home a free-kick for the striker’s 28th goal of the season. Wolfsburg claimed their first ever championship with a celebratory fifth scored by their brilliant Bosnian Edin Dzeko. When the final whistle arrived hoards of fans invaded the pitch to celebrate the championship with their idols in fantastic fashion.
Bayern Munich 2 – Stuttgart 1 (Bundesliga, May 23, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Bayern took the lead over Stuttgart after Franck Ribery linked up with Podolski in the left hand channel before Khalid Boulahrouz eventually got the final touch before the ball trickled over the visitors’ line. From a Ribery pass on the hour, Mark van Bommel slipped the ball between Jens Lehmann’s legs as Bayern looked to cement a second-place finish. Stuttgart came back into the match when a clumsy-looking run from Mario Gomez in the box ended when the striker smashed home a bullet high into the net.
Karlsruhe 4 – Hertha Berlin 0 (Bundesliga, May 23, 2009) It may not have been pretty, but Sebastian Freis’ scruffy shot just after the half hour handed rock-bottom Karlsruhe a crucial lead over Hertha in their unlikely bid to beat the drop. A Maik Franz header from a corner, five minutes before the break, doubled Karlsruhe’s advantage. Joshua Kennedy met a volley on the stretch to grab the hosts third, and Kennedy made should of the points with a bullet-header from a corner.
Arminia Bielefeld 2 – Hannover 2 (Bundesliga, May 23, 2009) Arminia’s bid to beat the drop got off to the perfect start against Hannover, Mario Eggimann unfortunate to divert a shot past his own keeper after just three minutes. Matters turned sour for Bielefeld just before the hour mark after Jiri Stajner drew the visitors level with a fine diving header. Arminia’s bubble was burst when Sergio Pinto found the far bottom corner six minutes from time, and although Artur Wichniarek found a last minute equaliser the hosts will be playing Bundesliga II football next season.
Eintracht Frankfurt 2 – Hamburg 3 (Bundesliga, May 23, 2009) Europa League hopefuls Hamburg took the lead in Frankfurt with a rasping drive from David Jarolim that tore into the near post after 22 minutes. The match burst into life around the hour mark, Ivica Olic doubled Hamburg’s lead only for the hosts to rally immediately first through Alexander Meier and then a fine finish from Caio after a fine attack from Eintracht. Just as it seemed that Hamburg’s season would end is disappointment, Piotr Trochowski popped up with a crashing 90th minute that guarantee’s Martin Jol Europa League football next term.
Monchengladbach 1 – Borussia Dortmund 1 (Bundesliga, May 23, 2009) Borussia Dortmund left Dante unmarked from a corner and they were made to pay when the Gladbach defender headed the hosts into the lead. Slack home defending allow Kuba to steal the ball and level after 64 minutes.
Energie Cottbus 3 – Bayer Leverkusen 0 (Bundesliga, May 23, 2009) Leverkusen had Arturo Vidal sent off on the stroke of halftime and early in the second half Cottbus took advantage of their numerical superiority when Emil Jula raced through the middle to score. Cottbus went 2-up through Stiven Rivic’s toe-poked effort after 64 minutes, before the game was put to bed when Emil Jula grabbed a cheeky third that left the visitors looking like headless chickens.
Cologne 1 – Bochum 1 (Bundesliga, May 23, 2009) An 18th minute header from Diego Klimowicz handed Bochum the lead at Cologne. But the lead lasted just minutes before a shocking own goal from Anthar Yahia drew Cologne level, the Bochum defender incredibly heading a corner into his own net when under no serious pressure.
Schalke 2 – Hoffenheim 3 (Bundesliga, May 23, 2009) Hoffenheim’s Demba Ba converted a cross at the near post as the visitors moved ahead at Schalke. The hosts were back level within minutes thanks to Mladen Krstajic’s header from a corner, and soon the turnaround was completed when Jefferson Farfan tucked home the second from close range. The Village Team equalised with a stunning Carlos Eduardo free-kick after 50 minutes.
All the goals from Saturday’s action in Serie B can be seen here.
Piacenza 1 – Mantova 2 (Serie B, May 23, 2009)
Spartak Moscow 5 – Amkar 1 (Russian Premier League, May 23, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Spartak too the lead with a fabulous goal from back to front that was finished by a Weliton header. Alex claimed the second minutes after the break, before Nikita Bazhenov coolly tucked in number three. Spartak scored a brilliant fourth, stringing together over 20 consecutive passes before Alex produced a delightful chip over the keeper from the edge of the box. Weliton netted a late brace, Ivan Starkov chalking up a consolation for Amkar.
Rubin Kazan 2 – Lokomotiv Moscow 0 (Russian Premier League, May 23, 2009) Sergei Semak hit a powerful improvised shot inside eight minutes to put Rubin in the lead. A goal at the start of the second half from Gokdeniz Karadeniz after poor defending from the Lokomotiv defence wrapped up the points.
Benfica 3 – Belenenses 1 (Superliga, May 23, 2009) Belenenses ended an 11-year stay in the top flight, despite getting off to a superb start when Silas gave them a third minute lead at the Estadio da Luz. The home side fought back to level after 20 minutes thanks to Oscar Cardozo’s 17th goal of the campaign. Fellipe Bastos put the Eagles in front in the 63rd minute and Pedro Mantorras wrapped up the win in the final minute.
Vitoria Guimaraes 3 – Academica Coimbra 2 (Superliga, May 23, 2009) Carlos Saleiro fired a long shot on the angle to put the visitors in the lead, before Vitoria hit back with three goals. An Orlando own-goal was was followed by a Roberto brace (first and second), Carlos Saleiro completing a late brace for Academica.
Rio Ave 2 – Amadora 1 (Superliga, May 23, 2009)
Partizan Belgrade 2 – Napredak 1 (Serbian Super League, May 23, 2009)
Toronto FC 3 – New England Revolution 1 (MLS, May 23, 2009) Amado Guevara claimed a brace and Dwayne DeRosario the other to emphatically cancel out the opener from Shalrie Joseph who had put Steve Nicol’s side into an early lead. The Revolution are now without a win in six.
Kansas City Wizards 1 – Chivas USA 1 (MLS, May 23, 2009) Argentinean striker Claudio Lopez struck a fine free-kick to put Kansas in front only for Eduardo Lillingston to equalise later in the second period.
FC Dallas 1 – LA Galaxy 1 (MLS, May 23, 2009) Landon Donovan gave the Galaxy the lead in the 3rd minute from inside the box, Drew Moor bring Dallas level on the half hour with a header from a Dave van den Bergh free-kick.
Houston Dynamo 3 – San Jose Earthquakes 1 (MLS, May 23, 2009)
Albirex Niigata 0 – Shimizu S-Pulse 1 (J-League, May 23, 2009) A fabulous Masaki Yamamoto at the start of the second half earned the visitors the points.
Estudiantes 3 – Argentinos Juniors 2 (Argentinean Clausura, May 23, 2009)
Rosario Central 1 – Huracan 2 (Argentinean Clausura, May 23, 2009)
San Lorenzo 0 – Newell’s Old Boys 2 (Argentinean Clausura, May 23, 2009)
Corinthians 2 – Bareuri 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, May 23, 2009)Â Without Ronaldo it was left to Souza and Jean to score for Corinthians, Daniel Marques scored the consolation for Bareuri.
Cruzeiro 2 – Vitoria 0 (Campeonato Brasileiro, May 23, 2009) Kleber scored both goals in six first-half minutes for Cruzeiro.
Goias 0 – Internacional 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, May 23, 2009) Highly-rated 21-year-old striker Taison came off the bench and scored the only goal for Internacional.
Ponte Preta 1 – Ipatinga FC 2 (Serie B, May 23, 2009)
Bahia 1 – Ceara 0 (Serie B, May 23, 2009)
Figueirense 1 – Portuguesa 2 (Serie B, May 23, 2009)
Vasco 3 – Atletico GO 0 (Serie B, May 23, 2009)